Cream teas; bunting; the local shop; thatched cottages swathed in roses and quaint church spires... ItGÇÖs not hard to conjure the perfect village from the imagination. But these places are for real. Having lived in the rural village of Milford in Surrey for nearly 40 years, award-winning actress Penelope Keith (THE GOOD LIFE, TO THE MANOR BORN) has a keen sense of what makes villages special. Armed with her beloved GÇÿBatsfordGÇÖ guide book (published in 1932), Penelope journeys from one bucolic bolthole to the next as she uses this vintage text and famous illustrations to answer a question thatGÇÖs close to her heart: why do we love BritainGÇÖs villages so much; whatGÇÖs disappeared, changed and stayed the same GÇô and whatGÇÖs the secret to their longevity? In addition to the beautiful scenery, Penelope explores the themes of industry, leisure, Royalty, tourism, tradition, arts and literature that characterise each region as she contrasts what the writers of the Batsford guides found with her experiences today. In this first series, travel to East Anglia, North-West England, North Wales and South-West England where Penelope visits the picturesque villages of Little Snoring, Barton Tuft, Portmeirion and more, plus a visit to Somerset which was used as the filming location for her popular comedy series TO THE MANOR BORN. Episode One: East Anglia Penelope begins her journey with a trip to East Anglia. While there, she attends a regatta on the Norfolk Broads, takes to the skies over the village of Little Snoring, learns to speak like a native of the county and attends a fete GÇô complete with a performance by wheelbarrow display team the Red Sparrows. Episode Two: North-West England and North Wales Penelope travels to the industrial heartlands of north-west England and north Wales, where she explores a Victorian garden in the shadow of a nuclear power plant, finds out about burgeoning tourism in Snowdonia, and goes to her first music festival. She also visits the picturesque Portmeirion GÇô a village created out of a desire to save old buildings from ruin GÇô and also featured in the cult 1960s television series THE PRISONER. Episode Three: South-West England Penelope concludes her first trip with visits to Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire, where she sees villages that have been used on film and TV. These include the community where her own comedy series TO THE MANOR BORN was filmed, and the setting of Steven Spielberg's WAR HORSE, Castle Combe, where she also discovers a motor racing circuit.
Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages: Series 1